I went

I went to church today.

I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in a church that wasn’t for a funeral.

I could write out a list of reasons. All invalid excuses.

Is there really a valid excuse?

Illness, hospitalization, your own death. that’s probably it.

most Sunday’s I never even considered going to church.

chris asked me if I wanted to get out of the house (alone) for a while. at first, I wasn’t going to go. there are 10,000 things that need to be done around here – so I was just going to stay home.

then I remembered that my original plan for today was to go to church, as a family.  no one was anywhere near ready to go, and I didn’t have the energy to try and round them up and out the door in 15 minutes. so I got myself ready and left.

I felt like this was my chance. A chance to get my foot in the door with no resistance from anyone.

I went.

I liked it.

I’m planning on going again next Sunday.

 

distraction

I try to do a devotional every morning before the kids wake up. I would say I’m successful about 5-6 days a week. I alternate between the First5 App & Proverbs 31 Ministries blog. They are run by the same people & always have great messages.

This mornings message from the Proverbs 31 Ministry was about distraction, which is something I absolutely struggle with. I’ve recently deleted the FB app off my phone – but then I would find myself reloading it/deleting it a few times a day.

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I was still active on Instagram – I like IG. It’s generally more positive & less drama… but then I realized that I was starting to pay to much attention to the “stats” or “insights” of my posts. “How many people liked” “How many people were reached” “How many people swiped away from my instastory.”

Totally meaningless stuff.  Why do I even care??? I don’t get paid. I have a small following, which was another thing I was getting caught up. “OH! Someone followed me.” “Oh, someone unfollowed me.” and that would be followed by “Hm, I wonder what I did to offend them or make them unfollow me?”

WHO CARES?

 

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I recently closed my social media based Lularoe boutique – for many reasons, but primarily because I didn’t have time & I wanted to be more focused on my family.

Then I immediately replace LLR with IG obsession.

So the message this morning brought me back to reality and I’m feeling a lot of conviction when it comes to social media.

It is hard enough to be a parent without the constant onslaught of “advice” that is pouring out of every social media orifice. I see these posts about why I should stop getting frustrated with my kids & cherish all their temper tantrums because one day they won’t have temper tantrums – and I just want to scream, WHO IS WRITING THIS CRAP???

It’s just prettied up version of Mom-shaming. I can’t even read those “essay’s” anymore. All I feel is extreme guilt & frustration. I start to feel like there is something wrong with me. WHY do I get so aggravated at my kids? Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to see a Dr? Is there something wrong with me? I’m already on lexapro, maybe I need a stronger dose, or something different. It becomes a landslide of emotions – all from one post about how I should love my kids temper tantrum.

Yeah. No thanks.

Of course I can choose not to read it. But i swear 15 moms in my feed are sharing this post – which just makes me feel even worse.

I don’t know what social media will look like for me moving forward. I’ll still be here, writing. I think i’ll be on instagram – i changed my account from business back to personal so I no longer get insights on my feed.

But FB, I think I can live w/o facebook…. I still have messenger because that’s how I communicate with a couple of my friends.

 

Have you given up social media for any length of time?

 

xoxo

jena

All i want is a big milky latte

Hello!  I’m feeling inspired to write this morning, so I’m going to try to write out some coherent thoughts on Whole30.

Aubrey is in bed, so let’s all shoot up a prayer that she stays there for at least the next 2 hours – that would be AWESOME!

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I started Whole30 on Monday. Today is day 4. I’m reallllly wishing I could have a big nasty milky latte. Oh so yummy! I would settle for a frothy coconut oil latte, but sadly my little blender thingy bit the dust last year and I haven’t replaced it. I have the big ninja, but it doesn’t quite have the same frothiness, plus, the ninja is cracked, and I’m not sure it can handle a hot substance… Hmmmm, maybe I SHOULD use it … ::evil laugh::

Day 1 sucked. Let’s just be honest, shall we. We planned a trip to Bok Tower so I packed all our food. The food part was fine. What sucked was the massive headache I had. I don’t know if it was the heat or ?????  Whole30 has a “timeline” for suckiness, and there is a day in the first week (usually day 2) where you feel hungover. I felt that way on Day 1.

I SORT OF feel like it was the heat getting to me – but I have NEVER had that kind of reaction being in the heat and I’ve lived in this heat box state (Florida) my entire life. I was drinking a lot of water, so I don’t think it was dehydration. It wasn’t THAT hot… I don’t know what the deal was, but it wasn’t fun.

Day 2 & 3 were somewhat better. Although, I did text one of my besties to ask her if being possessed by satan was a symptom of Whole30 because I was having a bit of a rough morning; and, indeed, it is. It hits around Day 4 – it seems my “symptoms” are rolling in a bit early.

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Day 3 I’m starting to realize how much mindless snacking I do. A bite of this, a bite of that – handful of cheerios. A few pieces of cubed cheese. Taste test the tortellini (a few times). All which seems harmless, but all those snacks add up, clearly since I’m still 15lbs above pre-Aubrey weight. Also, I love sweets. Ugh. I’m constantly craving something sweet. I’m also a night-time snacker. Lord, I love me some snacks.

I’m pretty much convinced that the creators of Whole30 did not have toddlers when they created this. IF THEY HAD, they would have figured out HOW to make wine fit… amiright???

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That brings us to today…  I’m fine. It’s fine. This is alllllll going to be fine. By the way, I made a coconut oil / nut pod latte, and it was DELISH.  I brewed Santa’s White Christmas coffee in my …. uhhh, what is that thing called..  Oh, french press (legit had to google “coffee brewer” to figure that out).

Poured coffee in mug, added a heap of coconut oil then some french vanilla nut pod creamer. Poured that into my ninja & ninja’d it on high for a minute or so. DELISH. No picture bc it’s in my belly!

Now I just need to work on adding in some exercise … baby steps, people, baby steps.

Preparing for Aubrey

I think I’ve almost set a record between my Grandmother, Mom, Aunt & my Sister…. for being pregnant the longest. Not really a record I want to set, but here I am, none-the-less. Still going strong at 39wks 2 days.. I realize I haven’t even made it to my “due date” yet, but no one thought I was even going to make it this long.

Every day is a challenging head game of wait & see; please note: I am REALLY NOT GOOD at these type of games that test my patients and have no end date. Sure, there is an end date, BUT WHAT IS IT???

So since I’m still pregnant, I decided that maybe I actually do have time to make a few freezer meals. I had kind of been putting this off because the task itself seemed really daunting. Planning & preparing multiple meals at one time!? I can barely cook dinner without a meltdown from a certain toddler I know – How was I ever going to spend hours in the kitchen? I had a few weekends where I planned to do it, but then I just never did it.

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So Sunday afternoon I pulled out my Make it Freeze it cookbook and flipped through it until I had a few recipes. Then I went on Pinterest and found a few recipes for meals that weren’t in the book but that I wanted to make.

I wrote out my grocery list, and then text my Mom to see if she could come watch Paisley for a few hours on Monday so that I could knock out these freezer meals. I’m not a dummy, there is absolutely no way Paisley would tolerate me standing in the kitchen for hours on end. Naps are so hit & miss these days that I couldn’t really count on that either. Grandma to the rescue!

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15577899_10209420675727286_9110571610914870032_oOkay, back to my freezer meal plan.. but Paisley is so cute, right? She had a blast taking pictures with Grandma! Lot’s of twirling & singing was involved.

I planned out 6 meals, and each meal would have 4-6 servings;

Upstate Minestrone (from the Make it Freeze it cookbook)
Rustic Italian Tortellini soup (MIFI cookbook)
Zesty Hamburger soup (MIFI cookbook)
Baked Spaghetti (MIFI cookbook)
Chicken Pot pie (pinterest)
Shepherds Pie (pinterest)

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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup: 

Prep: 20 min  / Cook: 20 min
Makes 6 servings (2 quarts)

3/4lb Italian Turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 c water
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (9oz) cheese tortellini
1 pkg (6oz) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 1/4 tsp minced fresh basil or 3/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Crumble the sausage into a dutch oven; add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water & tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the tortellini; return to a boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; add the spinach, basil, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tortellini are tender. Serve with cheese if desired.

FREEZE OPTION:

Place individual portions of cooled soup in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth if necessary.

 

Let’s wrap this up, shall we? I’ll post the other two recipes tomorrow!

 

Jena

When you just feel inadequate

“Mommy, play with me.” She says as she grabs my hand and tries with all her might to pull me away from the stove.

It’s time to get dinner started, Paisley is bored and wants me to play with her. I have to start dinner. It’s not going to cook itself. I need to wash the dishes in the sink. I need to finish charting from today’s patient load. I need to put away the clothes from this past weekend. I need to hang the clothes that have been laying in a basket for a few days.

She pulls my hand again and asks me to play with her again. “I can’t,” I tell her, again.

My heart breaks. I feel like crying. My child wants my attention, and I can’t or won’t give it to her because so many other things also need my attention.

This scenario happens all too often around here. It’s been happening more & more frequently as she grows older and is less entertained by her current toys. Her attention span is short; it’s not her fault. She’s not even 3 yet.

Am I doing her a disservice by keeping her home with me? Am I teaching her enough? Is she getting enough engagement? We don’t play with friends nearly as often as we should.

We can’t. I don’t have time. I don’t know that many people here.

Should we send her to school? We can’t afford it. Maybe I should get a regular job that pays more, No, not an option. I don’t want her to go to school yet. I want to stay home with her.

My house is a disaster. I’ll never be able to stay on top of it because I can’t even get ahead of it.

These are all my thoughts; the things that make me feel inadequate. I’m not a good enough Mom. I’m not a good enough employee. I’m not a good enough housekeeper. I’m not a good enough Coach. I’m not a good enough friend.

I honestly never realized how many of these, “I’m not good enough” thoughts I had in my head until just now.

It is hard to feel like you’re good enough when you feel like you’re drowning in the simple day to day life.

They say the days are long & the years are short. I know that’s true, but in the middle of a shit storm, everything feels neverending.

Today is a new day. All I can do is my very best.

On wanting to do more

 

Oh writing how I’ve missed you. I’ve been longing to write again, but I’ve been kind of hesitant, again.

What do I even write about? My life is not really all that exciting. I’m a work from home Mom who struggles to balance everything that comes with being a work at home Mom. That is not super exciting or even the least bit glamorous. I’m struggling with finding my place in life – one of my closest friends said this to me today (I wrote it down because it was so true & I didn’t want to forget it) She said, “you’ve struggled with finding your place in this grown-up life.” I think that’s 100% accurate. I absolutely have.

I think it became more prevalent when Paisley as born. I really can’t remember what life was like before she was born – what did I even struggle with? Nothing that I can remember. Life was pretty simple. Chris worked a lot, traveled a lot. I spent a lot of time with my friends, who were also kid less. I went to the beach a lot, ran a lot, worked out a lot, and went to work in a regular office 35-40 hours a week. A seemingly normal life.

I do remember wanting to do more for people. I remember encountering my first breast cancer patient & her story just broke my heart in a way that it had never been broken before. I began to see healthcare in a way that I had never seen it before. Despite being in health care for 6 years at this point – I was just seeing the side where the uninsured truly struggled to get adequate healthcare. You’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering how I managed to go 20 something years on this earth without realizing this – but to be honest, I’ve had health insurance for as long as I can remember; and it’s not something I’ve ever worried about or had really encountered up until this point.

I remember wanting to do something more for this patient – wanting to help her find resources that could help her get treatments she needed, and other services that you need when you’re a breast cancer survivor. She was not the only cancer patient I watched struggle with treatments & doctors because of the lack of insurance. It was these encounters that made me realize that I wanted to do something more with my life – that I really was compassionate about helping others – but I’ve never known HOW I could do that. What is my platform? How can I reach a large amount of people, and then when I reach them, what am I going to say?

It’s hard to distinguish if I’m being called by God to write, or if it’s just something that I want to do. So, I’m going to write as I can, and about what I want until I’m told, or feel otherwise.87fc4ac3a6620019dde7418d1d2ca415

Something to say

I haven’t written lately because I haven’t felt like I had anything of any real value to say; so instead of just rambling on here & sharing my life, I’ve said nothing. But if I say nothing, what is the point of this blog?

A friend messaged me on fb earlier this week and her message made me realize that just because I don’t feel like I have nothing of value to share doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t find value in what I have to say.

I love that you share so much of yourself on FB bc sometimes I read something & just think “yes!”

Her message was so important to me – It’s important because I use my facebook has an outlet & a way to reach other Women & other Mom’s. Being a Mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and sometimes it can be so isolating.

It’s like this is this unwritten rule that Moms can’t have bad days, and if we do, we surely shouldn’t talk about it because by God we are so blessed to have these little monsters that wreak havoc on our lives 24 hours a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so blessed to have Paisley, and I wouldn’t trade her. I wouldn’t go back and change anything about the last 2.5 years, but being a Mom is hard. No matter if you work in a regular job, if you’re a work from home mom, or if you’re a stay at home Mom. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for raising these tiny terrors that have taken over our lives.

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so maybe I don’t have something profound to say, but I do always have something to say.

 

Until next time,

Jena